I am always interested in how entrepreneurs who enter the “mom market” get their start, so I was pleased to be introduced to Agatha Achindu, who is the founder of Yummy Spoonfuls baby and toddler food.
Today in Oakland, we hosted an epic playdate for our local blog readers, and had the opportunity to send them each home with a Yummy Spoonfuls coupon for redemption at Target.
Here are six questions I asked Agatha, based on my curiosity about her founder story.
1) How did you determine there was a need in the market for your product? What was going on in your own household?
I am the daughter of a farmer in Cameroon, West Africa, and growing up, we always had fresh food. Therefore making my son JZ’s baby food from scratch was second nature. I was working full time as a tech executive, but I made weekly batches of fresh, organic pureed baby food for him to eat during the week.
Other moms I met in my community were amazed and wanted to learn this too, so I started workshops teaching other mothers to make their own baby food. However, so many of them were pressed for time, I began making homemade baby food to help them out. Eventually, as I recognized the demand, I founded Yummy Spoonfuls in 2006.
2) What skills did you have that allowed you to believe you could make this business succeed?
Primarily, making fresh food is second nature to me. I was surrounded by the freshest, healthiest foods when I was growing up — no processed or convenience foods at all. Teaching seminars on healthy cooking and childhood nutrition came together easily because of this experience. Also, as a mother, I understand moms – their desire to provide the best for their children, and the time pressures of parenting. I saw a void in the marketplace that needed to be filled – fast, fresh healthy baby food, free of additives and preservatives – the kind of food a mother would make at home for her baby.
3) What skills did you lack? What leap of faith did you take?
One weekend evening, my husband was home, and in our small neighborhood he watched this huge parade of cars coming in and out to pick up their baby food purees which I was making in our kitchen. That’s when he and I knew that this could be a really huge business. Our leap of faith was financial. We invested all we had, including my retirement, into the founding of Yummy Spoonfuls.
4) What do you hear from customers that lights you up?
I love hearing from parents who are overjoyed that Yummy Spoonfuls has given them the chance to provide their children with completely fresh, pure baby food. Most parents do not have the time to make their own baby food from scratch. Others feel panicked at the thought of the food prep required. I love bringing fresh food to babies everywhere — they all deserve that chance to be raised on real, healthy food.
5) What advice would you share with another female entrepreneur? Is it different if she’s a parent?
I believe that motherhood does not mean the end of your entrepreneurial dreams. Look at everything you Rookie Moms have accomplished! More likely, parenting can help define your true life’s purpose, plus the career goals that will spark the business of your heart. If you work hard, believe in what you are doing, and you are patient, you will be successful.
6) What’s for dinner at your house tonight? Be honest!
Although I am busier than ever, I truly do cook all of our meals completely from scratch when I am home with my family. What I feed my family is the most important choice I make everyday, because it affects how we feel, our energy levels and chances of becoming sick or staying well. To save time, I often cook dinners ahead on weekends. I’m continually posting these ideas and recipes on my social media, in an effort to help everyone eat better.
Tonight I’m making a family favorite: quinoa with seasonal veggies and grilled wild-caught salmon!
Thanks for joining us today, Agatha!